MCM taps into community synergy through diverse partnerships with grass root organizations, advocacy groups, intercultural and government networks.
MCM moved into St. James United Church (SJU) in 2004, thus beginning a close collaboration on different community action projects. That joint work moved to a deeper level in 2016 with the development of MCM's interfaith-intercultural program, Maa'n-Ensemble. Under the auspices of that new initiative, MCM and St. James began organizing cultural events and public advocacy with the Muslim and Jewish communities.
In 2020-21, the two ministries undertook a major redevelopment project of the entire St. James site under the leadership of the United Property Resource Corporation (United Church of Canada) and a local Montreal architect firm. At the same time the St. James-MCM Community of Friends is developing a joint vision statement that will include strategies for moving forward. The future looks promising for this spiritual-social justice hub in downtown Montreal.
MCM joined forces with the MAC in the fall of 2015 to provide a 'child friendly space' for Syrian refugee children arriving in Montreal at the time. The following spring, MAC colleagues assisted our Camp Cosmos with the development of a second camp site for refugee and local children on the West Island. In May 2016, the MAC joined us on the square of St. James United in downtown Montreal for the first public interfaith Iftar (meal to break the Ramadan fast).
In December of 2016-17-18, the MAC and MCM-SJU organized an interfaith Celebration of Light for the holiday season with over a hundred gatherings each time, to share a meal, enjoy music and get to know their neighbours, at the MAC Laurentian Community Centre in Ville St-Laurent. In 2019, we held the annual interfaith-cultural gathering at St. James United as a Good Neighbour event.
In 2015-16, ICAN chose MCM as an internship site for the first Syrian refugee social work student. Since that time, MCM & ICAN have worked closely together on advocacy campaigns with marginalized populations, as well as educational and public awareness raising projects.
To further our work with refugees and vulnerable migrants, MCM participates actively in the TCRI (Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes) and the CCR (Canadian Council for Refugees), as well as a member of CARL (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers).
MCM also partners with La Maison Flora Tristan shelter for women victims of violence to offer staff training and individual interventions; and with BINAM (Bureau d'intervention pour les nouveaux arrivants à Montréal) to facilitate access to public services for individuals with a precarious immigration status.
MCM joined this iconic international festival in 2016 through presenting a panel of community and business leaders from the Syrian community. Every year since, MCM-SJU have organized events that showcase immigrant and refugee talent: authors, playwrights, rappers, singers and dancers. To celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018, Blue Met produced a book featuring partners across Canada, including MCM, with an MCM youth on the cover of the book.
MCM-SJU began participating in this Montreal peace initiative in 2019 through organizing an intercultural panel discussion on the theme Who Feels it... Knows it: First Hand Experience of Refugee Activists Building Peace.
MCM-SJU were on the ground floor when this week long community action was launched in 2018. We have participated in the opening press conference and organized events at St. James to sensitive the wider public on the issues facing their Muslim neighbours.